Defence Minister David Johnston has congratulated Melbourne-based precision engineering company Marand following the successful installation of the first locally made Vertical Tail assemblies on an F-35 Lightning at Lockheed Martin’s US assembly line at Fort Worth, Texas.
The installation of the twin tail fins manufactured at Marand’s Moorabbin plant represents a major milestone in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) global supply chain of which the Australian aerospace industry is a key benefactor, Senator Johnston said today.
“This is terrific news and I am so pleased for Marand and its impressive Melbourne team,” the Defence Minister said.
“This is truly a great Australian success story in the production of the world’s most advanced war plane.
“The work on the F-35 vertical tails is subcontracted to Marand by BAE Systems with 722 Australian-made sets planned for export and fitting to US F-35s and those of other partner nations,” he said.
Marand is one of 30 local companies that have secured a slice of the $479 million in JSF work awarded to the Australian aerospace industry, a figure that is expected to grow.
The F-35 is a 5th generation fighter that will ensure the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) maintains a leading edge air combat capability.
“With the F-35 program now maturing and production ramping up, it is expected to represent the bulk of fighter aircraft among the F-35 nations by the mid 2020s,” Senator Johnston said.
The Australian Government has committed to buying 72 JSF aircraft. Australia’s first two F-35As are due to be delivered to a US -based training facility in 2015.
Mark Dodd (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477389560
Rebecca Horton (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477389554
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999